"CANADIAN REGIMENTS IN THE CONTINENTAL ARMY"

By James F. Morrison

Bicentennial Project of the County of Fulton
Published by the Fulton County Bicentennial History Committee


In researching the two Canadian Regiments that served in the Mohawk Valley you will find very little written on the First or Second Canadian Regiments. More has been written on the Loyalists that fled from the Colonies to Canada and their service in the Crown Forces as compared to those Canadians that fought for American Independence.

The first part of this article has two deserter descriptions that I had found and the second part are excerpts from an Order Book. The Order Book was kept by Lieutenant and Adjutant Benjamin Mooers of the Second Canadian Regiment from January - August of 1781. The order book is preserved in the Manuscripts and Special Collections of the New York State Library in Albany, N.Y..

DESERTER DESCRIPTIONS OF THE CANADIAN REGIMENTS

DESERTED from Capt. Abraham Livingston's Company, Col. James Livingston's Regiment - JOHN RICHARDS, about 5 Feet 4 Inches high, fair complexion, brown hair, tied in a club, dark eyes; had on a blue coat, faced with red, the button-hole edged with silver, a Mason by trade, and born in Boston - Also, JOHN DAVIS, about 5 Feet 7 Inches high, sandy complexion, short light hair, pock-marked, limps in his gait; had on a light brown coat, with white facings, a Native of Europe. - They enlisted themselves as Drum and Fife Majors, in the Regiment late of General Patterson's, Capt. Smith's Company, and are supposed to be gone to Newburg.

 Also, deserted from Capt. Timothy Hughes's Company, Colonel Livingston's Regiment - JOSEPH CLARK, about 5 Feet 2 Inches, 28 years of age, fair complexion, red curled hair, square built; had on a lightish - coloured coat, a Native of Ireland. - Also NATHANIEL BROWN, about 5 Feet 7 Inches, about 17 years old, fair complexion, light hair, a likely lad, had on a red British Soldier's Coat, born in Connecticut. - TWENTY DOLLARS Reward will be given for each of the above Deserters, on their being sent to their Regiment, now lying at Albany, and reasonable Charges paid.

ABR. LIVINGSTON, Captain 

SOURCE: THE INDEPENDENT CHRONICLE AND THE UNIVERSAL ADVERTISER, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1777. Page 3. 

  

Charlestown, No 4, April 26, 1779
SIXTY DOLLARS REWARD.

Deserted last night, from my regiment, the following men, viz-Peter Darbucks, born in France, about 5 feet 6 or 7 inches high, about 25 years of age, of a light complexion, and has light coloured hair tied behind; had on when he went away, a yellow jacket with sleeves, double-breasted sailor's blue under jacket, a pair of brown breeches, and a furcap. Jackque Beetan, born in France, about 5 feet 3 inches high, about 24 years of age, of a dark complexion, and has black hair tied behind; had on, and took with him, when he went away, a brown coat faced with red, white jacket and breeches, and a pair of overalls. Roney Shippell, born in France, about 5 feet 4 inches high, about 35 years of age, of a dark complexion, and has black hair. - Darbucks and Beetan can speak a little English but Shippell speaks French only. They are by profession, sailors, and is supposed will make for some sea-port town. Whoever takes up the said deserters, and secures them in any of the county goals so that they may be had again, or bring them to their regiment, shall receive the above reward, or 20 dollars for each, and reasonable charges paid by

MOSES HAZEN, Col. 

SOURCE: THE INDEPENDENT CHRONICLE AND THE UNIVERSAL ADVERTISER, THURSDAY, MAY 20, 1779, page 2.

  

Cognawaga1 June 22nd 1781

Sir/ 
    You will proceed from here to the post at Johnstown2 and relieve the new Levies3 at that place who are to be sent here this Evening if possible, You will acquaint the Commissary their, it is my directions he immediately Remove to this place with all his provisions stores &c., A proper place is provided for his Reception. Upon your Arrival their you will Enquire for one Soloman Woodward4 or some other good inteligent man who will make You and Your party acquainted with the different Routs and Evenues leading to your post.

    You will keep out small scouting parties, constantly would give me the Earliest inteligence of the approach of any Enemy, You will particularly Keep a watchfull Eye towards Sucandaga and Report to me from time to time what ever material may happen. If the Commissary has any provisions on hand you will please draw four days more for Your party and have a part of it baked into hard bread for your scouts Endeavour to inform yourself if there is any Grains or fat cattle among the Disaffected5 near you, and Report the same that measures to taken to secure them

I am Sir Your Hbl Servt
James Anderson6 (Signd)
Edwa Antill Lt. Col.7

    Received of Mr Peter Yost Tanner8 at Johns Town forty seven and three Quarters Weight of Upper Leather likewise five Weight of Soal Leather for the use of Col. Hazens'9 Regiment for which he is to receive hides in Exchange at the General Exchange -

agreed with him by Order of
Lieut Col. Edwa Antill Commanding
at Cognawaga
A Coppy July 3d 1781 

(Signd) James Anderson
Lt Commanding at
Johnstown

  

Cognawaga July 3d 1781 

    Col Veeder10 will settle the within account according to Justice Equity and the respective Resolves of Congress the Leather received being for the use of scouts and other public services as witness my hand the day and date above mentioned

(Signd) Edwa Antill Lt. Col.
A Coppy C.O.R. Commdg at
Cognawaga

Cognawaga Regimental Orders July 3d 1781

    The regiment will hold it self in readiness to march in half an hour - 

    The 4th of July Col. Hazens Regiment left Cognawaga - arrived at Schenectady the same day. Next arrived at Albany - 6th Instant left Albany for West Point- 

 

FOOTNOTES

1.  Caughnawaga comprises the present day Village of Fonda and part of the Town of Mohawk in Montgomery County, N. Y..

2.  The post referred to was the Tyron County Gaol which during the American Revolution a picket stockade was built around the Gaol with two blockhouses and named Fort Johnstown.

3.  In 1781 several regiments of levies were raised for the defence of New York frontiers. The regiment mentioned was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Marinus Willett and was stationed in the Mohawk Valley from 1781-1784.

4.  Solomon Woodworth was a lieutenant in Captain Thomas Skinner's Company in Colonel Willett's Regiment.

5.  Disaffected is another term used for a Loyalist.

6.  James Anderson was a lieutenant in the Second Canadian Regiment.

7.  Edward Antill was the lieutenant-colonel of the Second Canadian Regiment.

8.  Peter Yost, Sr., was a well known tanner in Johnstown.

9.  Moses Hazen was the colonel of the Second Canadian Regiment. He was absent from the regiment while it was stationed in the Mohawk Valley. 

10. Volkert Veeder was the lieutenant-colonel of the Third Battalion of Tryon County Militia. 

READING SUGGESTION

EVEREST, ALLAN S., MOSES HAZEN AND THE CANADIAN REFUGEES IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, Syracuse University Press, 1976.

  

This article was written and kindly donated by James F. Morrison from his collection. It was graciously typed by Peggy Menear for the Memorial Day Salute.

 


 


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